April is Financial Literacy
Have you ever found yourself at a dinner party or social event,
contemplating whether the next topic of conversation should be
religion or politics? For most, the answer is a definite "no".
Dodging discussions about politics and religion may keep you safe
from social turmoil, but does avoiding money talk protect you from
financial disaster? In the past few years, as a nation, we have
neglected to have open conversations about financial literacy, and
the importance that financial education holds in the United States.
As a result of this, adults and their children don't attain the
financial knowledge to successfully manage their money.
A significant number of people of all ages continue to lack the
basic understanding of general finances. This includes concepts
related to stocks, bonds, savings and checking accounts and even
The severity of the issue captured Congress' attention, leading
them to designate April as Financial Literacy Month. Although April
will bring financial attention for many, it is imperative that
monetary education and awareness is implemented in our daily lives.
Placing importance to financial literacy 365 days a year will be
beneficial to all Americans and set a great example for your
The declining savings rates combined with increasing amounts of
consumer debt leave us with more responsibility than ever to save
and spend wisely. As a nation, we are not putting away the
necessary resources today to ensure the continued growth of
prosperity for tomorrow and beyond. Simply put, Americans are just
not saving enough money for retirement or financial emergencies,
such as unemployment or large medical expenses.
There is no better time than now to learn and talk about
finances. Have a conversation with friends and family. This doesn't
mean you have to disclose your personal financial information.
Making important decisions like purchasing a home, saving for
college, and what to do if you have overextended yourself can be
quite difficult. It can be very helpful to have discussions
with your friends and family who may have experienced what you are
going through or who have more training and experience than
For those who just don't like mixing friends and finances, reach
out to a local credible organization that can provide basic
financial literacy education and can help to assess your debt and
create a personal solution to get your finances back on track. Look
for things like BBB rating, memberships and accreditations to help
find a reliable service.
Asking questions and knowing what questions to ask are equally
important when beginning to talk about personal finances. Don't
wait until it's too late. We challenge you to take the first step
this month. There's no shame in getting into financial trouble, but
it is a shame if you do nothing about it.